October 1996

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Feeling Between the Lines

by Joyce Menges

Considering that effective communication is paramount to success both in personal and professional endeavors, and considering the exponential growth of the --metaphoric lines of communication in cyberspace, the author has embarked on this path of inquiry: What do we need to know about nonverbal communication in order to succeed in our interactions within the emerging connections made possible by the growth of electronic communication? Some would argue that human intercourse, often a significant challenge even in face-to-face human interaction, is severely restricted by technology. While effective communication has many aspects, extraverbal cues seem to be the most elusive. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, the author has described her personal experiences and survey research into synchronous IRC and MOO communication.

Undoubtably, there is communication in the sychronous environments of cyberspace that goes beyond verbal conversation. Gaining an understanding of, and a greater capacity for expressing and perceiving extraverbal communication is practical for all who use computer-mediated communication to play and to work. [TOC]



Appendix A: Glossary of Terms
Appendix B: The Nominal Group Script
Appendix C: Sample Demographics
Appendix D: Tally of the final Vote for Nominal Groups

Joyce Menges ( is an online educator and a long-time participant in computer-mediated communication. In her face-to-face life, she teaches mathematics for Southern Maine Technical College and coordinates SMTC's NovaNET Learning Lab serving underprepared freshman. This research served as the senior theme for her master's degree in Adult Education awarded in May 1996 by the University of Southern Maine.

Copyright © 1996 by Joyce Menges. All Rights Reserved.

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